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FUSE In India in a nutshell

FUSE (Food-water-energy for Urban Sustainable Environments) is a transdisciplinary 3-year research project (2018-2021) involving the Food-Water-Energy Nexus (FWE) in Pune (India). The project will develop a long-term systems model that can be used to identify viable paths to sustainability. It brings together scientists, engineers, economists, and stakeholder engagement experts from Stanford University in California, USA, IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) in Laxenburg, Austria, UFZ (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research) in Leipzig, Germany, and ÖFSE (Austrian Foundation for Development Research) in Vienna, Austria. The project is a not-for-profit research effort and is part of the Sustainable Urbanisation Global Initiative of JPI Urban Europe and the Belmont Forum. Each of the national teams is supported individually by its own national science funding agency.


The provision of food, water and energy (FWE) re- sources is crucial for human well-being. Population growth, industrialization and urbanization increase the demand for those resources. To secure their pro- vision, a long-term integrated approach is needed that takes into account natural and human factors, antici- pates trade-offs and identifies synergies. The design and implementation of long-term strategies to achieve FWE-sustainability is a challenging task for all actors – including policy makers, civil society, the private sector and academia – and can only be achieved by working together.

The city of Pune is located in a growing metropolitan region in the Indian state of Maharashtra. More than 5 million people currently live in this region and it is foreseeable that it will grow significantly in the future. Intermittent freshwater and energy supply and competition between urban areas and agriculture for water and energy characterize key elements of the region’s stressed FWE systems.

FUSE is a transdisciplinary research project that aims to contribute to identifying solutions for long-term FWE sustainability in the Pune region. Building on the expertise of local stakeholders, FUSE will construct a long-term, multi-agent urban-FWE system model that captures connections and feedbacks among users, producers, distribution mechanisms, and resources. It integrates narratives of future changes in climate, demographics, land use, and economic development, and considers the behavior of a wide range of actors. The model will be used to evaluate policy inventions and innovative governance forms in order to identify implementable sustainability options.

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